Did you play house as a little girl? How did you dream your “house” situation would be? Was it different everytime you played or was it the same? Did you allow others to play with you or was it a solo gig?
I played house when I was a young girl. Can’t say little because there was nothing little about me! Playing house for me encompassed everything in life with a child: Housework, outside the house work, taking care of the baby, etc. I’m not sure how it all started or where all the dolls came from though a few I do know where they came from and who bought them for me. What I do know is that playing house for me was pretending to live the life of a family.
It was just my brother and I growing up. We had no neighborhood friends, and quite frankly I’m glad we didn’t have neighborhood kids. My brother and I played pretty well together so when he’d want to play cops and robbers while I wanted to play house, we combined the two and played together. When it was a decent day out, we’d get our bikes out, connect a wagon to our bikes and throw our babies in the “back seat.” In the back seat with the babies was for our toy guns used to go fight the bad guys.
I’m reminiscing because this morning my daughter was playing house with my son. She’s got much cooler accessories for her babies (well she uses animals as babies, but whatever) which I may or may not be a tad jealous of, but she wasn’t being gentle with her baby and it made me laugh. I don’t think I was all that gentle with my babies either. I mean I did throw the baby in the back of the wagon, no seat belt or strap, we’d fly on our bikes up and down the bottom lot (a steep hill) with babies flying around.
But then I got to thinking how defining that play time was for who my brother and I are today. My brother knew from a young boy that he wanted to be a police officer. I didn’t know at the time, but I was clearly showing my true self by playing house because decades later I became a stay at home mom and wouldn’t have it any other way. Interesting that my brother and I, while no longer on bikes, still throw our kids in the backseat and go about our business that needs to be done without question. Interesting, too, that most of the time my brother likes to be home or with his family doing things and guess what, I do too.
We wouldn’t have known what it was like to be a family had we not had the example when we were little what family looked like. My dad took us everywhere. In fact, I remember a couple of times he’d picked me up from the babysitter and there was a criminal in the back of his squad car. I’d load up in the front seat (because that wasn’t illegal when we were young) and we’d head to the Sheriff’s Department where Dad would handle the bad guy and I’d get to get spoiled with slim jims and cheese or little rolls of life savers from some special people at the department.
When my parents needed to do something, we went out as a family. I remember mostly the experiences we had as a family and not the stuff.
I enjoyed the time with my family.
And while my brother and I may run our houses differently than each other, while our kids are getting different life experiences from each other, we still are those two kids playing house decades ago. We live the house who plays cops and robbers today. Eric on a daily first-hand basis because he is the cop. Me as the active duty military wife. We get to live who God created us to be.